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Occidental Tamarindo
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Reviews (2,792)
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Reviewed 28 March 2012

My husband and I just returned from 7 days at this resort. We had a wonderful week. The food was really good and the staff attentive and friendly. We didn't experience long ups or wait times for meals or drinks. Our fridge was stocked with 4-5 bottles of water a day, couple of softdrinks and the the coffee in the room was pretty good.

We had a beach view in the 9000 block and loved the privacy and the views the huge balcolny provided. Balcolny had 2 loungers as well as 2 chairs and table. We spent quite a bit of time on it, watching the surfers arrive in the morning and the awesome sunsets before dinner. The room was basic, nothing fancy, but comfortable, clean and functional. I had requested 2nd floor, king bed and ocean view which is exactly what we got!

We did 2 excursions, both to National Parks, and spent a few hours in the town of Tamarindo. The rest of the time we were happy to walk on the beach, lounge by the pool or watch the surfers work so hard. We also had massages at the hotel spa which were pretty good and not expensive. We met lots of nice people; the resort is small so you see the same people more often. Staff gets to know you quickly as well.

I would recommend this resort and had no complaints over our week there. We'll go back to Costa Rica but would likely go a different area next time to see more of the country.

Room Tip: 9000 block, ocean facing, 2nd floor. Great views and privacy on a 17 x 7 balcolny.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Helen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

A very nice luxary resort. Staff has activities around the pool all afternoon. Everyone spoke english. Good buffet. warm pool. On the beach.

Warning, do not try to cross the river next to the resort. Wife and I were wading across and next thing we knew we were swept out into the surf. Within 30 seconds we were in 8' waves. I managed to swim to shore but my wife had swallowed sea water and was in trouble. The hotel life guard did a bay watch type save and got her to shore. They had warning signs about the river, but since it was only knee deep...

Room Tip: Do not get a room close to the show. They were very loud.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank St_Louis_Engineer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 March 2012

I will start off by saying that I’m known to be very laid back person who usually sees the good in everything. Not in this case. I will try to be brief:
1) The first night we arrived my mother fell out of bed and smashed her head on the dresser needing four stitches (this could only happen to my mother). The phone in our room didn’t work so I ran to the front desk in the pitch black (all outside lights including path lights are turned off at night and left on all day?) I told the front desk that my mother had fallen and rojo (red) was coming out of her head and that I needed some hielo (ice). He said no. I then asked for some auga/water as the one bottle of water they leave in the room was gone. (for the extra strength pain pills I had with me) He said no, you only get one a day. I told him I needed a doctor and he said it would cost $17. O.K no problem please get the doctor. He then wanted me to walk back to the room by myself in the pitch black and wonder around until I found the doctor. I told him no way he was coming with me. When we got to the room (he had a flashlight to guide us) which was now covered in blood .. head wounds sure do bleed. He walked us to the doctor on the other side of the complex. There is NO WAY we would have found this on our own in the pitch black. The doctor was great, very efficient. No complaints there. After the doctor stitched my mothers head she led us back to the lobby by flashlight. We asked for some cloths as the ones in our room had been left in the doctors office covered in blood. He said no. We made him walk us back to the room at which time we told him our phone didn’t work. He told us he worked 10 – 6 and left.
2) Costa Rica has the best eggs ever! We have a condo In Guanacaste, my mother in-law is always ready with the fresh eggs when we arrive. The resort had an omelet station that would do eggs any way you liked. The problem: you had to wait in a huge line-up no matter what time of the morning just to get in the restaurant and then another huge line-up to get your eggs at which point you were ready to eat your plate.
3) Lunch: Line up, line up, line up!!!
4) Dinner: Line up! Line up! Line up!!
I have never spent so much time waiting in lines for food. It took up half the holiday!

5) They hate Canadians at this resort! The resort is full of locals with only a handful of Canadians/Americans/ Germans/ Polish, and by handful I mean 20 non-locals. I have never been anywhere in Costa Rica where there has been such hostility toward Canadians and I have been all over Costa Rica. At one point during the show which was all in Spanish the guy turned to the left of the stage and asked in English “are you Canadian” when they answered yes. The guy on stage turned to the crowd said something in Spanish and the entire audience (Locals) burst out laughing. No explanation was given.
6) They speak English but chose not to, and mock you when you speak Spanish to them. In the end I started playing their game. Yes I will have the boogie board back to you in one hour yes one hour. Five hours later I would return it with a polite smile and a total blonde expression.. yes one hour .. 
If you want to stay somewhere nice stay at OCCIDENTAL GRAND PAPAGAYO. Now that is a great resort. Sure it does cost more but at least you get your money worth. And the Staff and amenities are fantastic


One more thing. In the end the stitches cost $149 not $17 and they tried to charge another $50 on top of that. What a scam. Somebody had taken a pen and tried to turn the 4 into a 9 $199. we had the original bill so nothing doing. We only ended up paying the $149. it only took another hour to straighten out...

Room Tip: don't stay here, that is the only advise I can give you
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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12  Thank J V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2012

Our family of four stayed at this resort during March break. The room was adequate, everything that we needed. Balcony very nice and large enough for all of us. Safe and refrigerator worked well. Staff very helpful and always greeted us with a "Hola". Food was good, did get a little repetitive after a couple of days. Make sure you go to the a la carte restaurant, service and food was excellent. Book reservation at the restaurant, front desk does not advertise that one meal is included at the a la cater if you stay 7 nights.
Was very hot during our stay, there are plenty of chairs in the shade.
Grounds were well maintained and beautiful. Would love to go again.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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6  Thank 123cooking
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2012

The service we received during our near tragic vacation was above and beyond the call of duty. The power of the ocean overcame my husband and we were transported to the hospital by ambulance (he is fine now). The director of the resort sent a manager, Russell Lopez, to be with us during the entire 7 hours we were at the hospital to translate for us. But he looked after us in every way possible - going to find us food and drinks and helping me contact our insurance company and then the Resort provided a taxi to take us back to the hotel after all the tests were complete.
Please respect the power of the ocean currents and swim safetly!
The resort is just wonderful - with the rooms/buffet/pool/beach areas not too far apart. The food was great - lots of selection at every meal. The staff was always happy to serve us and help us learn some spanish! The rooms in the 4000 are a bit noisy while the shows are on but beautiful, modern and clean. The walk along the beach to Tamarindo is a must-do!! As is a stroll on the beach to the south - during low tide!! Watching the amazing surfers and the sunsets are my favourite memories!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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8  Thank J T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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